Ad Astra Coordinating ‘Ecosystem Project’ Including Air Liquide
Busy US Hybrid is completing the conversion of a 35-foot Van Hool bus to hydrogen fuel cell operation at its facility in Connecticut for trials in Costa Rica. The “Hydrogen Ecosystem Project” project is being coordinated by Texas-based Ad Astra Rocket.
“The bus will begin operations in June of 2017 on demonstrative routes in and around the City of Liberia, Guanacaste,” Ad Astra says. The operator is Relaxury, a subsidiary of Costa Rica’s Purdy Motor.
Relaxury vehicles connect Costa Rica’s Liberia airport with resorts, but the firm will operate the fuel cell bus initially “as a not-for-profit demonstration for the Costa Rican people,” Ad Astra says.
A 120-Kilowatt US Hybrid Fuel Cell Drive
The bus for Ad Astra will employ a 120-kilowatt US Hybrid fuel cell drive. It will carry some 38 kilograms of hydrogen fuel affording a single-fill range of about 338 kilometers, Ad Astra says, about 210 miles.
Hydrogen fueling equipment – dispenser and storage – is being provided by Air Liquide. Stationary tanks will be able to hold hydrogen 450 bar, allowing fuel to be dispensed for the 350-bar/5,000-psi system on the bus.
Ad Astra describes Hydrogen Ecosystem Project as a PPP/public-private partnership between Costa Rica’s Sistema de Banca para el Desarrollo, a public financial institution promoting Costa Rica’s technological development, and organizations including Us Hybrid, Air Liquide, Cummins and Relaxury.
‘Key Logistics, Expertise and Technology’
“The partnership combines key logistics, expertise and technology to launch the bus as part of a carbon-free sustainable ecosystem and seeks operational experience with clean, domestically produced hydrogen as a viable transportation fuel for Costa Rica and other economies looking to achieve a carbon-free energy infrastructure,” Ad Astra says.
“Fuel-cell electric vehicles could promote the profitable growth of a clean transportation alternative in regional markets,” states an announcement. “All team members have contributed their own resources to the project.”
Besides converting the Van Hool vehicle, US Hybrid will provide service and maintenance support during the demonstration, says US Hybrid president Abas Goodarzi. Beyond the demo, he told F&F, “There is a plan for commercial deployment.”
At ACT Expo 2017 early this month, US Hybrid unveiled a zero-emission Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell truck for Los Angeles-area port trials (F&F, May 5), and a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell sweeper for Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation (F&F, May 8).
Ad Astra is headquartered in Webster, Texas.
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Source: Ad Astra Rocket Company with Fleets & Fuels follow-up